Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: May 10, 1863

Detachments of Federal troops are now marching into the city every few hours, guarded by (mostly) South Carolinians, dressed in home-spun, died yellow with the bark of the butternut-tree. Yesterday evening, at 7 o'clock, a body of 2000 arrived, being marched in by way of the Brooke Pike, near to my residence. Only 200 Butternuts had them in charge, and a less number would have sufficed, for they were extremely weary. Some of them, however, attempted to be humorous.

A young officer asked one of the spectators if the “Libby” (the prison) was the best house in the city to put up at. He was answered that it was the best he would find.

Another passed some compliment on a mulatto wench, who replied: “Go long, you nasty Abolition Yankee.”

One of our soldiers taken at Arkansas Post, just exchanged, walked along with the column, and kept repeating these words: “Now you know how we felt when you marched us through your cities.”

But generally a deep silence was maintained, and neither insult nor indignity offered the fallen foe. Other columns are on the way —and how they are to be subsisted is a vexatious question.
The Washington papers of the day preceding the first battle contain Hooker's address to his army — how different from Lee's! It is short, though:

headquarters Army Of The Potomac,
“Camp near Falmouth, April 30th.

“general Orders No. 47.

It is with heartfelt satisfaction that the Commanding General announces to the army that the operations of the last three days have determined that our enemy must either ingloriously fly or come out from behind his defenses and give us battle on our own ground, where certain destruction awaits him. The operations of the 15th, 11th, and 12th corps have been a succession of splendid achievements.

“By command of Maj.-gen. Hooker.
S. Williams, Ass't. Adjt.-Gen.

Another column of between twelve and fifteen hundred prisoners marched in this afternoon. It is said a copy of the New York Herald is in town, which acknowledges Hooker's loss to be fully 40,000. There are rumors, also, that our army in Tennessee has gained a great victory. Rumors from the West have hitherto been so very unreliable, that I shall wait patiently for the confirmation of any reports from that quarter.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 318-9

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